One of Specsavers newest outlets the Cookstown store has been set up jointly by local opticians Brian O’Kane and Natalie Bradley. Natalie, Brian and both their families are well-known in the Mid-Ulster area and are delighted to have joined Cookstown’s vibrant retail and business community.
Local connections for Brian and Natalie
Brian was born, bred and schooled in Magherafelt and then studied optometry at the Ulster University in Coleraine. Immediately after graduation Brian joined Specsavers in Exeter taking on the position of store director at just 21 – Specsavers youngest ever at that time.
Brian moved back home and opened Specsavers in Magherafelt. Now he and his wife Christina (an audiologist) are firmly settled in Mid-Ulster with their three young children.
Like Brian, Coagh girl Natalie studied at Ulster University and then completed her pre-reg year at Specsavers in Edinburgh and subsequently worked at the Antrim store for four years. Keen to move back home after getting married in 2015, Natalie joined forces with Brian to open Specsavers in Cookstown in December 2016.
Staff from the Mid-Ulster area
In addition to Brian and Natalie the nine strong Specsavers team includes staff from Cookstown, Ardboe and Dungannon.
Mum of two supervisor Adele Newell is studying dispensing on the Cert 3 course whilst Erin Quinn is midway through a hearcare assistant course.
Optical assistants Laura McKernan and Teresa Little are also qualified first aiders with Joanne Johnston working part-time work and also fronting future corporate campaigns for Specsavers Cookstown.
First year optometry students Aoibheann Scullin and Emma Nelson support the team in part-time roles. On top of working and studying both have busy schedules with Emma heading to Africa during the summer to undertake charity work whilst Aoibheann showcases her excellent musical talent performing regularly at local weddings.
Music and sporting talents
It’s a talented team at Specsavers Cookstown. Alongside Aoibhean’s singing and guitar skills, Erin Quinn from Ardboe plays drums for a local band and Brian O’Kane has been playing Greek stringed instrument the bouzouki for more than 10 years.
Adele Newell is also a drummer with a world class pipe band which competes across the globe and won an international award in 2012. Natalie’s family the McGuckins are mainstays of Ballinderry GAA and Teresa Little manages her own running club and regularly undertakes competitive runs.